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Homework for the Super Bowl: Study Up on Ads

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What will the best part of this year's Super Bowl be? The cheerleaders, of course. The second best? Probably the commercials. You see, I am a Pittsburgh Steelers fan. After the lowly season steel town had this year, it's hard to be excited about football. The Super Bowl though? I am very excited for. The reason being? The commercials.

With no personal investment in the outcome of the game, I will be able to do something I have always wanted to- actually watch and digest the ads on a high level. Instead of just saying 'aw that horse is really cute' or 'old people out raging, that's pretty cool. Why do I want tacos now?', I'm making my voice heard. Not only will I be following and live tweeting the ads (seriously have no life), I have signed up for the USA Today's Ad Meter, allowing me the chance to rate all of the ads.

I hope you are bringing it this year companies, because my fingers will be a-flyin'.

Before the game comes up, I wanted to provide a snap shot of the participants, to help get you prepared for your game day votes. The line-up looks a bit different so far this year than in games past. Some fresh faces, as well as a host of regular customers.

Several big names will be making their Super Bowl debut this year. Turbo Tax takes the stage for the first time, with a 60 second spot spinning off of their current 'It's amazing what your capable of' campaign. With tax season quietly creeping up, this is a very well timed airing.

Website design and management service SquareSpace will be joining the crowd, with a 30 second spot that is shrouded in mystery.

Jaguar rolls into the mix in a big way, with a minute long third quarter ad starting UK actors Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston, and Mark Strong, and directed "The King's Speech" Best Director Oscar winning Tom Hooper. As if $4 million for 30 seconds wasn't pricey enough.

Other first timers include Butterfinger, promoting it's upcoming Peanut Butter Cup, in direct competition with current peanut butter cup champ Reese, and Cheerios with an ad telling "a beautiful story about family love", featuring a celebrity that has not yet been named.

Of course, the standard brands will be back again.

Much like the New England Patriots of the early to mid 2000's, Anheuser-Busch will be holding a monopoly over the advertisement landscape for this year's Super Bowl, with five ads totaling three and a half minutes. Three of these ads will be for ultra bro Bud Light, two of which feature Arnold Schwarzenegger and Don Cheadle titled "Epic Night". The third, titled "So Cool" will announce that Bud Light now has a reclosable aluminum bottle (little late to the party there, BL).

The Clydesdale horses will of course be making a come back, and last year's story of the young horse and it's trainer will continue, where the horse meets a new puppy friend in "Puppy Love". Anheuser-Busch will also be paying tribute to the men and women returning from military duty in final ad, titled "Hero's Welcome".

Another brand whose spot is focused on militarily action is AXE, but in a much different way. In their ad "Make love, Not war", several scenes of sure destruction are set up, only to doop the viewer when they all turn out to be romantic. The ad was made to help promote new AXE Peace spray, as well as Peace One Day. On a personal note, this may be my favorite ad that I have seen pre-Super Bowl; I love the gross misuse of the military force as a way to propose! Also, the very accurate spray range of AXE at the end hit the nail on the head.

Perhaps the biggest battle that will actually be fought on Super Bowl Sunday centers around the exciting industry of ... yogurt. Both Dannon and rookie Chobani will be running one thirty second spot during the game. No details about content, but you will want to stay tune to this one. John Stamos was featured in Dannon's ad last year, maybe Chobani will up the ante with a whole Full House reunion.

Doritos took Super Bowl advertising to a whole new level this year. The snack company will be continuing their "Crash the Super Bowl" contest for the eigtht year. This gives fans the chance to create Doritos' ad for the Super Bowl. Two fan-generated ads will be chosen to run during the game. But having an ad you created run during the Super Bowl isn't the end of it.

The creator of the ad that ranks higher in the USA Today Ad Meter will be asked to work on the set of "The Avengers: Age of Ultron". The creator of the ad that generators more votes will win 1 million bucks. Everyone else should take a page (chip?) out of Doritos' book (bag?).

Another company doing something along those lines is finance and tax support brand Intuit. However, their user generated videos have all come from real life small businesses. After holding a pre-game contest, Intuit will actually give it's 30 second third quarter ad to the winning business. These are all awesome, check them out and vote!

Both GoDaddy.com and H&M are no strangers when it comes to provocative ads. In the past, GoDaddy.com always tried to fulfill the male fantasy; attractive women, not a lot of clothes. H&M made one for the ladies, featuring an almost bare-it-all David Beckham in their 2012 spot. This year, both brands have matured a bit. GoDaddy stated that they will focus on their core product for their two spots this year, and while Beckham will be back for H&M, they will be passing on a repeat of the peep show.

Check out this full list created by Pavone for the rest of the line up as of today.

After extensive research, I am very, deeply sad to have to say that the E*Trade baby ... will not be making an appearance this year. That is very troubling to me.

On a side note, how ridiculous that with 11 days until a sporting event, there is already such a huge buzz about the commercials. The commercials?! The part that takes away from the broadcast you are suppose to be watching. Just wild this world we live in.

Stay tuned for a finalized cast list closer to kick off. Until then, get your study on!

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